By LIZ BUTTON
The Westchester District Attorney’s office has chosen April 15 to present former Rye Golf Club Manager Scott Yandrasevich’s second-degree grand larceny case to the grand jury.
Rye City Court Judge Joseph Latwin announced the case’s transfer to county court at Yandrasevich’s March 18 appearance in Rye.
The former golf club manager was arrested on Nov. 19, 2013, and arraigned in Rye City court. He pled not guilty.
As currently charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison for alleged theft of member dues at the city-owned club beginning as early as 2007.
Yandrasevich will have the option to testify before the grand jury, although he is not necessarily required to physically attend the presentation of charges if he chooses not to give testimony. District Attorney’s office spokesperson Lucian Chalfen said if Yandrasevich is indicted, he will be re-arraigned in county court under the indictment and the case will be put on a track for a trial date, although Yandrasevich still has the right to plead guilty to the charges at any time.
“One would assume he is going to get indicted,” Chalfen said.
Yandrasevich, 49, may also be charged with further crimes or a higher-level offense depending on what the DA’s investigation uncovers in the interim between when initial charges were brought and a trial, Chalfen said.
According to the C felony charges filed by the DA, Yandrasevich, who resigned from the city-run golf club in January 2013, allegedly stole $271,120 in member dues from the Rye Golf Club over a period of four-and-a-half years, which he accomplished by submitting fraudulent purchase orders to the city through the shell company he created, RM Staffing.
Following his arrest in November 2013, Yandrasevich rejected the district attorney’s offer in December to negotiate a plea deal related to the charges. The district attorney’s office did not announce its intention to present the case before the grand jury until January. Yandrasevich’s attorney, Kerry Lawrence of the White Plains-based firm Calhoun & Lawrence, said he and his client are pleased to be moving forward at last.
“If he is indicted, we’ll defend our case when it gets transferred to county court,” Lawrence said. “We’re looking forward to trying to get his name cleared.”
The allegations of financial fraud against Yandrasevich surfaced in October 2012, when club members began to suspect a connection between Yandrasevich’s accounting practices and the club’s significant financial losses over the years. The city hired Brune and Richard, a New York City-based law firm, to go through the club’s finances and payroll records and compile an investigative report. Brune and Richard published its report on Feb. 27, 2013—which the City Council forwarded to the DA’s office—that stated the former club manager allegedly stole “many hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The city filed an insurance claim for $2.1 million for club members’ lost funds in August of that year, a much higher number than the $271,120 the district attorney’s office has calculated so far.
The investigation by the district attorney’s office continues, and the amount deemed stolen could increase. Chalfen said what can be proved criminally is set at a much higher bar than what one would sue for in civil court.